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Full Circle: The First Anti-Government Protest In Greece Turns Ugly

The first anti-government rally in Athens turned ugly as anti-authoritarian protesters started to smash the windows of a pastry shop and two jewelry shops and put two vehicles and several garbage bins on fire. According to latest information, there was no intervention by riot police although squads were standing near by.



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Economic Composite Index Suggests Restocking Cycle Is Over

While economic indicators make "very poor bedfellows" for managing portfolios, they do provide some indication as to the relative risk of owning assets that are ultimately tied to economic cycles. Despite commentary to the contrary as of late, economic cycles have not been repealed, and the current economy is likely running on borrowed time. It is important to notice, that despite the "hype" of the mainstream media about the economic recovery, activity never rose past previous peaks in this cycle.



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How To Trade Oil For HFT Idiots 102

Yesterday we provided the initial template for how to trade oil if you are an HFT idiot. Today we move to the next step in the evolution... In a perfect mirror of last week's trading, Oil dumped on API inventories this week, pumped on DOE inventories (both massively more than expected builds) and then dumped it all back the next day on absolutely no news whatsoever - back to a $48 handle. Tomorrow we have 'rig count' data - which by now we know is entirely irrelevent for now to any changes in supply - but last week created a manic meltup into the NYMEX close... trade accordingly.



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10 Year Sells Off Above 2% On Weak, Tailing 7 Year Auction

Define irony: after earlier in the week speculators went massively short the 2Y and 5Y, pushing the repo rate "super special" and deep in negative territory on hopes of disappointing auctions, it was the 2 and 5 Year auctions earlier this week which were surprisingly strong forcing yet another round of mistimed short covers. And as fate would have it, it was today's 7 Year "belly" auction that was ignored by most. It was also the 7 Year that just priced in a surprisingly weak auction, coming to life with a yield of 1.834%, stopping well through the 1.826% When Issued. Confirming the weakness was also the Bid to Cover, which at 2.369 was the lowest since November of 2013.



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FCC Votes In Favor Of Obama's Net Neutrality - Has The Slippery Slope To Web Censorship Begun?

"An open Internet is essential to the American economy, and increasingly to our very way of life," according to President Obama and it appears his perspective on the heavy hand of government regulation inserting itself into the last bastion of freedom and dynamism in the US economy, is how best to achieve "openness." Having pressured FCC's Tom Wheeler, the vote just came down: U.S. FCC APPROVES NET NEUTRALITY INTERNET RULES IN 3-2 VOTE. While potentially good for a consumer's pocketbook, the handing over of "fair-use" decision to the government, as we previously noted, could be the first step on a slippery slope to increased censorship. Welcome to "internet of political things."



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"Faith In Fed Abilities" Are Too Firmly Embedded In The Investor Class

Financial markets are upside down.  Financial repression and belief in the “Fed put” pushed investors further and further out the risk curve over the past six years.  Too many asset managers have remained fearful of underperforming peers and benchmarks; a powerful incentive to stay ‘risked-up’.   The psychology of bullish, and faith in Fed abilities, have been too firmly embedded in the investor class. Given that markets don’t seem to want to believe that a June hike looks probable, we expect an outsized market reaction to a hike, lower long yields to accompany it, a flatter curve, wider credit spreads, higher market volatility, and materially lower equity markets.



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What Happens If The Department Of Homeland Security Shuts Down

As soon as tomorrow, the one part of the US government which to many is a manifestation of all that is broken with the current US "big brother" state of pervasive, ubiquitous surveillance and broken immigration policies, the Department of Homeland Security which was created in response to September 11, and which houses the agencies with jurisdiction over immigration law, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) may be shut down. Here is what happens next.



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Amid Probe, NY Governor Cuomo Orders Mass Deletion Of Government Emails

In an Onion-esque story almosty too unbelievable to be real, IB Times reports, in a memo obtained by Capital New York, Cuomo officials announced that mass purging of email records is beginning across several state government agencies. The timing of the announcement, which followed through on a 2013 proposal, is worth noting: The large-scale destruction of state documents will be happening in the middle of a sprawling federal investigation of public corruption in Albany.



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Arms Race 2.0: Top Navy Admiral Warns China Now Has More "Fairly Amazing Submarines" Than The US

Overnight we learned from Vice Admiral Joseph Mulloy, deputy chief of naval operations for capabilities and resources, who testified before the House Armed Services Committee's seapower subcommittee that China "is building some fairly amazing submarines and now has more diesel- and nuclear-powered vessels than the United States," “They may not be the same quality, but their submarine forces are growing at a tremendous rate. They now have more diesel and nuclear attack submarines than we have,” the admiral told the lawmakers. “They are producing some fairly amazing submarines and they are actually deploying them.”

Welcome to the second arms race.



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German Comedy: Yanis Varoufakis "Puts The 'Hell' In Hellenic"

While we noted their 'nein'-ness with regard Greece earlier, it appears the Germans have take to satire to make their point... The following brilliant clip begins with a confident man exclaiming "We are Germans... we truly are a fearless bunch of mother-f##kers..." who then quakes in his jackboots  "except for one man... V for Varoufakis."

 



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Ukraine To Halt Currency Trading Again Any Minute

With Prime Minister Yatsenyuk putting his foot down and squeezing the central bank to lift capital controls, Ukraine's currency is totally collapsing this morning. Up over 5 handles to a fresh record low of 33.75/USD, we suspect currency trading will be halted any minute. While we discussed the endgame for Ukraine last night, on the street, things are dire with ATM lines, shelves emptied, and local currency exchanges marking up levels dramatically more than the 'official' rates...



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Greece Suffers Biggest Bank Run In History: January Deposits Plunge To 2005 Levels

Moments ago the Bank of Greece presented its latest, January, deposit data. And it's a doozy: following a record €12.2 billion monthly outflow, greater in absolute and relative terms than anything experienced during any of the previous Greek crises and bailouts, the total amount of Greek corporate and household deposits has now tumbled to just €148 billion. This number is in line with some of the more pessimistic expectations, and brings the total cash holdings at Greek banks to the lowest level since August 2005.



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From One Non-Profit To Another - Jay Carney Moves To Amazon

As one wit noted, it appears former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney is moving from one non-profit organization to another. As Politico reports, Carney joins Amazon on Monday as senior vice president for Worldwide Corporate Affairs - reporting directly to Jeff Bezos and topping current veteran PR Chief Paul Misener.



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Despite Record Stocks & Surging Wage Inflation, Consumer Comfort Plunges Most In 10 Months

What do people have to be 'uncomfortable' about?!! Stock markets around the world are at record highs... real wages just jumped by the most MoM since 2008... So why oh why did Bloomberg's Consumer Comfort Index plunge to its lowest of the year, falling by the most since May 2014? Perhaps, just perhaps, the market is a red herring... distracting the plebeians from the reality of the economy?



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Europe's "Them" & "Us" Fiscal Faux Pas

Oh well, some are more equal than others. One day after Eurogroup head Dijsselbloem says France won’t get any more lenience... "France must respect EU budge rules," ... the EU over-rules him "France gets more time to meet EU budget rules."



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